Monday, June 1, 2020

Woolies, workers union lock horns over workers rights

The local franchise of global retailer, Woolworths, has been accused of blocking attempts by some of its employees to join a trade union of their choice.

The allegations have been made by the Cashiers Shop Assistants and Allied Workers Union (CASAWU) which made claims this week that the retailer has even summoned some of the employees and verbally warned them to keep distance from workers union.

Apart from Woolworths CASAWU in the past admitted that it was encountering resistance and denial by most employers in the retail and wholesale sector, limiting its efforts to empower workers in that sector.

This week, Sunday Standard was this week tipped about a warning letter authored by CASAWU Secretary General (SG) Dimpho Nyambe in which he cautioned Woolworths Botswana against its decision to intimidate employees.

In a brief interview, Nyambe told this publication that their problems with the popular retail store started in 2017 when CASAWU tried to recruit their employees across the country to become members of their union.

“Woolworths has about 500 employees countrywide. We have been going from store to store trying to recruit its employees to join CASAWU. And we have managed to sign up some of its employees. However we haven’t met the required numbers in order to be able to operate our full functions within Woolworths Company,” he said. He said they are required to have recruited at least one third of the number of people employed by Woolworths in order to be recognized.

The Sunday Standard was unable to solicit a comment on the matter from the local management of Woolworths by the time of going to press on Saturday morning.

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